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>> coming up on "california country," meet one of the hardest-working couples in the restaurant and ranching worlds. >> they're both, uh, 24/7, 7-day-a-week business, which most people think we're crazy for jumping into these 2 businesses. >> next find out about a wine that's been generations in the making. >> when i come visit in california, 1966, i say, "that's the place i'm gonna stay and i die." >> then discover a blooming business in southern california. >> and the flowers, it's just smiles. >> and saddle up as we take a step--or in this case, a stitch--back in time. it's all ahead, and it starts now. [captioning made possible by california farm bureau federation]
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welcome to "california country." i'm tracy sellers. we're at a really unique restaurant today. it's half-city, half-country, and all the idea of one even more unique couple. part chefs, part greeters, even part busboys, ron and his wife terri gilliland do a little bit of everything at their wildly popular roxy restaurant in sacramento. >> uh, it's nice to be able to wear different hats and not be tied down to the same thing every day. uh, both in the restaurant and in the agricultural industry, things change daily, uh, and no day is the same. there's always something different that goes on, whether good or bad. >> but their jobs don't just end at the restaurant. when the last customers have folded up their napkins and put their forks down, this couple is on to their next job. that's right. in addition to being full-time restaurateurs, they're also full-time ranchers. at their lucky dog ranch in nearby dixon,
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the couple often begins and ends each day with their aptly named dog lucky and tend to a herd of 3,500 strong. you see, ron and terri consider being at the ranch more cathartic than chaotic, and for both, it's actually a return to where they came from. ron grew up on a farm in ireland, terri on a ranch in colorado. >> and when we met each other, we looked--we were dressed like this, so i thought, "wow. i'm meeting this sophisticated guy that knows nothing about ranching and farming, that's dressed to a 't,'" and i think he thought the same of me. and then over the course of time, we find out we're just really 2 little farm kids at hand. >> they're both, uh, 24/7, 7-day-a-week business, which most people think we're crazy for jumping into these 2 businesses that you cannot really get away or--or just say we're gonna disappear for a month, because you can't. but we love it. we're crazy. >> crazy, but also content, because the couple takes great pride in their beef program at the ranch. they handpick
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the best animals and raise them on a steady diet to achieve the tenderness and marbling that diners want in a prime cut of beef. but they also have a personal satisfaction in seeing the animal through from start to finish and knowing they are treated with respect and dignity. >> absolutely. more and more people today want to know not only where their food comes from, but, uh, how the animal was treated. come on, girls. come on, girls. come on, girls. [cows mooing] >> we know each animal's birthday. we kn-know its daddy. we know its mommy. uh, we can trace everything back to the origin of the animal. >> the natural beef at the lucky dog ranch fits in perfectly at their restaurant, where their theme is paris meets the west. part fancy, part farmy, this unique food fusion is catching on here. they celebrate the american west with a brand of cooking that reinterprets the familiar staples of the prairie. chili, burgers, and tri-tip are
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the norm at roxy, but they all have the couple's own spin on it, much of which they get from working out on the prairie, so to speak, and by highlighting the efforts of many of their friends and fellow farmers and ranchers in the area. >> well, it's always--always nice to know where your food is born, raised, grown. we were both born and raised on farms, per se, uh, and when you grow up on a farm, you taste the eggs that are laid that same day. >> and while they may just think of themselves as 2 little farm kids, this couple has a culinary talent that is exceeding even their own expectations. roxy is actually their second restaurant in sacramento, and it's based on their fundamental beliefs that if you start with good, quality products, you don't need to fuss too much with anything else. it's a concept that has been wholeheartedly embraced by diners... >> it's a blending of both of them, comfort and sophistication. >> and by executive chef danny origel, who has worked with
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the couple since they first began their restaurant careers in sacramento. >> yes. i think they have a-- a great background in food and obviously a great background of not only where--where the, uh, meat comes from, but actually know what it takes to raise an animal and to get that great product. i have to say they're one of the greatest people i've known. we discuss everything like we were family. >> and fans don't necessarily have to dine at the restaurant to get a taste of lucky dog ranch beef, either. they're now being sold at sacramento farmers markets and at some retail locations around the area. and while their philosophy of keeping the menu as local as they can isn't a new one, it is being taken to a new level here. it's about supporting good food, good people, and a good way of life, all of which this
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special couple gets to surround themselves with at both of their jobs. >> just getting out there on the ranch or just getting out there where there's nothing around you but beautiful pasture land, some good-looking cows, and open sky, it's such a great feeling, too, so life is good. >> vacation for me is laying on the back of a pickup, watching the sky in the middle of a field of cows. heh heh heh heh. >> sometimes with me. [laughs] >> for "california country," i'm tracy sellers. >> brought to you by allied insurance, a member of the nationwide family of companies, which also includes nationwide insurance. on your side. the people, the places, the unforgettable tastes of california will be back in a moment.
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>> welcome back to "california country." >> stama is among the newest california wines, though what motivated gus kapiniaris to start a winery happened 5 generations earlier. as the label depicts, his great-great-grandfather broke
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free from being chained to a wall by ottoman turks, barely escaping death by fire. born in koroni, greece, gus left home with only the suit on his back and $20 loaned from his father. his long journey eventually took him to america, where he knew he had found the location to fulfill his dreams. >> when i come visit in california, 1966, i say, "that's the place i'm gonna stay and i die." i love california. >> that love shows in the vineyards, where gus and his son look over the literal fruits of their labor. and not too far away are the makings of their next vintage. from their home in lodi, they have made many friends, who help them do something important in greek culture, celebrate. >> all right, my friends, some relatives, friends, all of us come this country with about-- with nothing. so god help us. all of us have been working hard and doing things. today for me is the big day in celebrate the stama wine. it bring back
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the name where i come from. >> family, i feel, is the most important thing. without family, you really don't have anything at all. working with my father, i must say that i've been raised as an only child, no brothers, no sisters. my father not only is my friend, but he's my brother, too, and my father. and everything i know today and everything i have to thank for is because of my father. >> when i look him, i think i look on my father, because he's got his name. and i been very happy, and i hope everyone family, father, son, work together. >> kokkari is where the "san francisco chronicle" calls greek food "elevated to an art form." getting their wine on the list here and at their sister restaurant evvia in san jose shows stama wine has made it.
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the family gathered to celebrate this achievement, understanding the value of this new partnership. >> kokkari here in san francisco is known as one of the top restaurants for greek cuisine in the bay area, or in northern california. and we've eaten here many times. it gives us a lot of pride and joy to have our wine featured here at kokkari. >> i like comments i get from customers sometimes. i'll have people that have grown up in greek families and come to me and say that the food here reminds them of what their grandmother used to cook. >> stama wine has enjoyed fast-rising popularity since the first vintage was sold this spring. it marks a milestone for the family and culmination of a long journey for gus to honor past generations, proving no goal is out of reach if you want it badly enough. >> because i remember my father, plezer. he said, "son, i don't have nothing to give you, but god with you." and when
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i learn how to do pulling, i was young boy. my father said to me, "gusso, one day, god give you your own affairs." and that come true. >> i'm dennis newhall for "california country." >> this segment is brought to you by the california farm bureau federation. from farm to feast, stay tuned for more of the temping tastes of california.
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>> welcome back to "california country." >> so you think being a flower farmer is easy work? well, think again. growing san diego's number one crop is in fact pretty hard work, but putting smiles on all those people's faces, that's the easy part.
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welcome to san diego, california's second-largest city, where blue skies keep watch over 70 miles of beaches and a gentle climate begs for a day of leisure. with its ideal climate and seemingly endless amount of sunshine, it's not hard to see why the tourist industry is tops here. but behind that booming business is a blooming one. the floral market is a $300 million industry in san diego. >> oh, they smell so good. >> they really do. >> to meet alfredo hidalgo is to love him. it only takes a simple hello and exchange of pleasantries to know this isn't your average fellow or your average flower farmer, for that matter. >> pple love flowers because they're alive, because they're beautiful, because they're cheerful, because they just give happiness to everyone.
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>> always with a smile on his face and a flower for an adoring customer, it would be hard to understand the long and windy path it took to get to this point now. born into near poverty, he came to san diego looking to start a dream. >> when i was in mexico, i never thought about me growing flowers at all. i never thought about growing flowers, especially for living, you know? i never, never--that never crossed my mind. but then i came to united states and i saw beds of flowers and i started liking it and i-- and i saw cutting flowers and selling them put money in your pocket, then i said, "i--i think i like to do that." >> today alfredo likes just about everything there is about growing flowers. he now owns more than 17 acres of flowers
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and operates one of the county's most popular businesses. name a flower from "a" to "z," and it no doubt grows and thrives here thanks to equal amounts of sunshine and tlc from alfredo. >> as you can see, she's making them in different colors. uh, some of them have a casablanca in it. some of them a stargazer. those flowers smell so good. you know, many people remember, like, they do--they open like the mouth, and i think they-- that's how they call them, like, a snapdragon. heh heh heh. can't you see that is like opening the mouth a little bit? you have to get up and go to work every day, 7 days a week, and make sure that all your plants have water, because you have to pay your workers, because you have to pay your bills. but it's something that i really love, that i like so much. many times, from little, tiny seeds that is hard, you know, for your eyes to see, you can grow beautiful flowers like these and--and have them year-round. >> he and his family tend to hillsides that are awash in brilliant colors. today,
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like any other day on the farm, is filled with work and a lot of it. it starts out with picking, sorting, and packing more than 100 varieties of flowers. from here, it's off to make deliveries to eager customers all across the county. and then it's time for one of the 14 farmers markets he does every week. customer after customer almost naturally migrates to alfredo's booth, not only for the beautiful flowers, but for the beautiful person inside and out
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that makes him a market favorite. >> oh, he's a great guy, great personality, great person. >> muchisimas gracias y siempre es un placer. >> ahh. gracias. >> viera te mucho. >> i think he attracts the ldies. >> he helped me with a breakup, basically, believe it or not. yeah. no, it was just one of those times where i was having a really hard time, and i came down to the la jolla market, and alfredo just put this big smile on my face and just told me, "now, don't worry. you're beautiful." you know, "you have everything going for you," and just--just bunches of bouquets and everything, and it just-- it put a big smile on my face, just kind of brightened my spirits up. >> that's wonderful. that's great. >> so i'm definitely gonna--hi. [both laugh]
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>> whether at his farm, at home, or at a farmers market, alfredo is still pursuing a dream that has blossomed into something more. in his estimation, it's not a sacrifice, but a privilege to work from sunrise to sundown, bringing happiness to people all across san diego. >> i been working in the flower business for 30 years, and, uh, until today, i haven't seen somebody that gets a bunch of flowers and puts it--puts it on the ground and steps on it or anythin most of the time, they get you a beautiful smile, and, you know, flowers, it's just smiles. tracy, these beautiful flowers are yours. >> oh, alfredo. my new best friend. >> thank you very much.
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>> welcome back to "california country." >> i started out as a saddle maker and, um, always enjoyed that quite a bit and always did repair work along with making
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saddles. then i got interested in making western boots and did that for 10 years, and, uh, then went back to saddle work. and, uh, the boot work really has enhanced my saddle work and everything else that i do in the shop here. this is called a tap-off pattern, and you would make these patterns for anything you're going to use more than once, use a lot of, and that just lays down a very faint pattern. california history, of course so much has happened here, starting way before the gold rush. um, you know, the world used to run on--got almost a huge hunk of their leather from california back in the 1830s and 1840s. uh, this would get shipped all over the world, but mainly to new england, where it was turned into shoes
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and boots and harness and chair seats and so forth, quite a bit of which came right back to california as trade goods again. old-fashioned-type sewing machines, but they run perfectly, and they do just a great job. now, you could do the same with a brand-new machine. uh, i just prefer the old ones. i like the antiques all the way around, and i use antique hand tools for the most part, because, uh, not only are they, uh, the highest quality, but most of the time, very beautiful, too, and i appreciate using those tools. [woman vocalizing]
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>> california-made saddles are the highest quality and always have been. no matter how far back you go, if you take the saddles apart, boy, they are just exactly what they're supposed to be. and still 100, 110 or 120 years later, they're fantastic. but there are saddle makers out there today definitely that do just as good a work and possibly even better in the artistic sense. >> and lope your horses, please, and, kathy, you tell me what lead you're on as soon as you're loping. takes specific knowledge of that
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thing in order to restore it. it's not like you just get some saddle oil and clean it up. >> one of the big differences from an everyday standpoint is fit. um, saddles that are 100, 150 years old are built--were built for horses that really don't exist anymore--very thin, narrow, smaller horses, uh, mustangs. and today's horses are much bigger, much more muscular, much wider, so you--when you look at old saddles, they're very, very narrow. >> well, he's the, uh--the go-to guy for everything with horses. i mean, he knows horses. he knows horse equipment, and he knows the people with--that love the horses around here, so we all come to him. >> i walked in here one day and was trying to tell him about the saddle, you know, inside the shop that i had left in the car, and when i told him what i had, he beat me to the parking lot. [laughs] >> i gotta say that all of my
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customers are the greatest, and really--and it's a great bunch of people around here. um, have done work for clint eastwood's tehama. one of my first customers when i moved to part of--this part of the country was william packard from hewlett-packard. nice man. um, and i think a lot of people have come through the shop that are probably famous in one way or another, and i'm just not aware of it. i enjoy this so much that, uh, that's a big part of it. you know, i really like what i do. but to just--just let people know what they have and that they have an important piece and they should take care of it and save it for the future generations. >> that concludes today's tour of the best of california country. join us next time
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for more undiscovered treasures from the most fascinating state in the country. [captioning made possible by california farm bureau federation] [captioned by the national captioning institute] [woman vocalizing]
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Democracy Now
LINKTV November 6, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm PST

News/Business. Independent global news hour featuring news headlines, in depth interviews and investigative reports. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY California 20, Alfredo 6, Us 5, San Diego 5, Sacramento 4, Terri 2, Ron 2, San Francisco 2, Dennis 1, Clint Eastwood 1, Plezer 1, La Jolla 1, Alfredo Hidalgo 1, Gus Kapiniaris 1, Evvia 1, Stama 1, Mustangs 1, Snapdragon 1, Terri Gilliland 1, California Farm Bureau Federation 1
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Duration 01:00:00
Rating PG
Scanned in San Francisco, CA, USA
Source Comcast Cable
Tuner Channel 89 (615 MHz)
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Audio Cocec ac3
Pixel width 544
Pixel height 480
Sponsor Internet Archive
Audio/Visual sound, color

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